WE are supposed to have perfect freedom of thought and speech, religious, political and otherwise, and yet, if we do not entertain our neighbor’s opinions, views and belief we are ostracised from his association. There is contradiction and inconsistency in our claims. We marvel about the existing inharmony between nations, tribes, societies and families. We plead for abolishment of crime, cruelty, class distinction and injustice, yet at the same time we are determined to have it brought about in our own way, inconsiderate as to a possible infringement upon the rights of individuals thinking otherwise.
That old preconceived idea of “free agency” has rooted itself well into our hearts, which guarantees us a will of our own — not be used. To live a life of duplicity is the consequence of such doctrine and “diplomacy” is a close friend. What a sad condition it must be to lead a life of slavery and yet be compelled to confess it an “exercised liberty” — of one’s own free will and choice. Had we common sense and sound reason we would naturally accord equal recognition to every individual, thereby removing all thoughts of differences. The expression of our ideas is as much characteristic of our being as the ideas expressed by others. After all, they are merely ideas, expressing conditions of time according to the desires of the heart and the demands of the mind.
As the grass draws from out the atmosphere elements peculiar to its own kind, and the tree gathers unto itself from the soil, the air and the sunshine elementary conditions suitable for the perpetuation of its species, so does man form unto himself ideas from that realm of thought most appealing to his nature. That which does not agree with the make-up of a plant is not attracted by it, and although drawn into its system, it will not be retained for any length of time. Just so the human being. When we shall have sense enough to know when we have enough reason to decide as to the advisability of our reaching out for ideas, we shall have recognized that to every being comes what he seeketh in its own due time. That opportunities to learn and to know are ever before us, and that we merely need to take advantage of them and make use of them in as far as our capabilities correspond with our abilities. Recognizing the same right for every individual, we shall be able to continue to live in peace individually and prosper collectively.
From US Mazdaznan Magazine 1903 March p. 20.
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